10/29/2012 8:01:00 AM Chino Valley girls cross country team qualifies for state meet
Chino Valley's top three finishers Friday included, from left, Cheyanne Penton, Kelsey Randal and McKeisha Nez.
Courtesy the Daily Courier
When a team leaves its own head coach "completely shocked," something special usually happened.
Those are the words longtime Chino Valley High School cross country coach Marc Metz used late Friday after his girls' underdog varsity team surprised the field in the Div. 3, Section 1 postseason meet with a fifth-place finish to qualify the squad for next week's State Meet in Cave Creek.
"The girls ran their best race of the season and completely shocked me by placing fifth in the section and qualifying for the state meet," Metz said. "They put it all together and beat some strong teams to make it to state."
Cheyanne Penton (15th place, 21:11) and Kelsey Randal (20th, 21:39) captured Top 20 finishes for the Cougars on the course at Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook. McKeisha Nez placed 24th with a time of 21:58, Zoe Dunn took 50th (23:50), Natalie Malloy placed 51st (23:51), Micaela Chavez placed 65th (25:32) and Christina Ballard placed 77th (29:34).
As a team, the Cougars' 155 points trailed only Page, Mingus Union, Chinle and Window Rock.
The Div. 3 girls' State Meet takes place Nov. 3 at Cave Creek Golf Course. The race starts at 9:15 a.m.
The Chino boys, meanwhile, were led by Zach Ballard who placed 42nd with a time of 18:28. Tim Rudiger placed 54th with a time of 19:17, and Channing Nez placed 58th with a time of 19:23. Travis Rowitisch placed 64th (19:26), David Lemcke was 67th (20:00), McKenzie Nez placed 71st (20:21) and Stanley Swiacki took 78th (21:12).
The boys placed 10th out of 12 teams with 285 points.
"We were dealing with a few injuries on the boys side and we are in one of the toughest sections in the state of Arizona," Metz noted. "The boys gave a good effort and had a good season."